What happens if my dog ate a small piece of chocolate?  

Picture this: You’re hanging around the house having a much needed relaxing day. You want something sweet while you’re watching your favorite show, so you grab some chocolate from the pantry and set it on the table. You turn your back and one second later your dog snagged a piece. Oh no, what can happen next?  

 Is A Piece of Chocolate Dangerous for My Dog? 

The severity of chocolate poisoning depends on a lot of factors, such as dog size, how much and what kind of chocolate was consumed, how long they have been exposed to the toxins, etc. The chocolate concentration causes poisoning. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which are ingredients that can harm your dog. Typically, the darker the chocolate the more harmful it is because it contains higher levels of theobromine and caffeine. The danger does not just stop there. The sugar levels in chocolate can cause an upset stomach and diarrhea in your dog as well. One piece of chocolate should not harm your dog, but multiple pieces can harm your dog.  

Chocolate Poisoning Clinical Signs  

Clinical signs depend on how much and the type of chocolate ingested. Below are common signs to watch out for:  

  • Tremors in the muscles and limbs 
  • Seizures 
  • Irregular heartbeats 
  • Agitation/restlessness 
  • Increased heart rate 

The best thing to do is to take preventative steps so your dog is not tempted to eat any chocolate. Make sure to keep your living area clear from any type of chocolate. Sweep any crumbs before your dog can eat them. Train your dog not to beg at mealtimes and instruct everyone living in the house not to feed chocolate to your dog. Call your vet if you need further tips on keeping your dog away from chocolate.  

 Chocolate Poisoning Treatment  

If your dog is in danger of chocolate poisoning, your vet may induce vomiting. There is no safe way to induce vomiting in dogs at home, so, take your dog to the vet clinic as soon as possible and always consult with your veterinarian before administering anything. Your vet will monitor your dog and advise on any treatments. IV fluids can be used to address hydration. Medication may be used to treat any clinical signs.  

It is best to call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline®, at (855) 764-7661, for any type of emergency with chocolate. Prompt medical attention is necessary, and your furry friend should be able to recover.